Visiting the website for Broken Social Scene would make you feel as if you're the only person in existence to know about this collection of talented Canadian musicians. It would also be a bloody crime to be that person and not let someone else know about the goldmine that is just sitting there waiting to be liberated. You Forgot It in People is one of the most incredible albums to come out of Canada in a very long time. Hell, it's one of the best albums to come out of anywhere, really. Take the entire list of last years top critically acclaimed albums, shove them all in a blender, and hit liquefy. The resulting drink is basically what you're going to get when you put this album into your player of choice.
This long list of Broken Social Scene contributors (Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Do Make Say Think, KC Accidental, Stars, etc) create a piece of music that is both reminiscent of past genres, while taking charge to disassemble them and glue them back together before your very eyes. "Capture the Flag" and "Pitter Patter Goes My Heart" become the bookends for a genre-bending experience. The first major song, conveniently titled "KC Accidental," shows incredible similarities to Daydream Nation-era Sonic Youth, with just the perfect amount of vocals to accent the instrumentation. "Stars & Sons" comes in with its brooding bass line and "hand-clapping" pop sensibility. "Almost Crimes (radio kills remix)" leads you to believe that the song will be a ballad of sorrow before having the rug briskly pulled out from underneath it to expose a more upbeat track.
At this point into the album, I found myself wondering if a bad song was ever going to show its ugly face. "Looks Just Like the Sun" proves this is not going to happen and makes you realize that as you go through this recording you've gotten yourself into something that you may not want to get out of even if you could. It takes a much jazzier tone with meditative vocals that literally make you imagine a perfect summer evening in the sun. Where could this album possibly go next after a song like that? Well, it heads right into one of the better songs on the album, "Pacific Theme." Robert Smith would be extremely happy with the way the guitar is used in this song. Not since Smith took over the world with Disintegration has the flanger been so nicely used to elevate a song to dreamlike status. So many times this albums breaks into a whole new direction, yet it always seems to make perfect sense. Take "Anthem for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl" for example. A banjo is used ever so lightly to hint that this song could be an alternative country song, but before you can confirm this, Emily Haines' childlike voice is manipulated to take the song off into pop heaven.
I'm only halfway through the album, and I have nothing but good things to say. It makes me wonder how much can be written about an album such as this one. It feels good, however, to know that I'm one of the first ten people in the world to do so. "Shampoo Suicide," while cinematic in tone, contains vocals that tend to focus more on sound and melody rather than the lyrics themselves. "Cause = Time" is one of the true highlights, with its heavier approach to songwriting. I was convinced that either Thurston Moore or J. Mascis sang this song the first time through. Sadly enough, I don't think there's any way of avoiding this comparison. Comparisons will be tagged on the next song as well. "Lover's Spit," by far the best track on You Forgot It in People, gives me the same emotional feeling I get when listening to Lennon's "Imagine." I'm no expert musician, but I'd venture to say that the song is even in the same key. It also contains one of the most beautifully gut-wrenching bass lines I've heard in previous years. This song alone is worth the purchase of this hard-to-find masterpiece. With all the genres here, it'd be hard to determine any others coming into play, but "I'm Still Your Fag" highlights a classy touch of contemporary folk. The lyrics "I swore I drank your piss that night to see if I could live" add an odd sense of humor to an otherwise passive sounding song.
Now that I'm getting tired of typing, I'll leave you with one bit of advice. Do whatever possible to obtain this album. For those of you who fear albums that may become too popular in the future, don't worry. This beautiful nugget will undoubtedly stay underground due to the inability to even find it in stores or online. If you really want to impress your friends with something new and exciting that you found before they could, look no further than Broken Social Scene's sophomore release, You Forgot It in People.
1. Capture the Flag
2. KC Accidental
3. Stars and Sons
4. Almost Crimes
5. Looks Just Like the Sun
6. Pacific Theme
7. Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl
9. Late Nineties Bedroom Rock for the..
10. Shampoo Suicide
11. Lover's Spit
12. I'm Still Your Fag
13. Pitter Patter Goes My Heart